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NetLogo: Design and Implementation of a Multi-Agent Modeling Environment SwarmFest, May 11, 2004 Seth Tisue , lead developer Uri Wilensky , author and principal investigator Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling Northwestern University Outline

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Netlogo design and implementation of a multi agent modeling environment l.jpg

NetLogo:Design and Implementationof a Multi-Agent Modeling Environment

SwarmFest, May 11, 2004

Seth Tisue, lead developer

Uri Wilensky, author and principal investigator

Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling

Northwestern University


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Outline

  • Introduction to NetLogo (Wilensky, 1999):what’s our niche?

  • Current and future developments:growing that niche


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What is NetLogo?

  • A multi-agent programming language…

  • …and integrated modeling environment


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Audience and goal

  • Dual audience: research and education

  • Goal: “Low threshold, high ceiling”


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Why “low threshold” matters

  • Not just for teaching; researchers should care too

    • Rapid development, ease of experimentation and prototyping

    • Communication, sharing, verification

    • “Clear box” (aka “white box”)


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Achieving low threshold

  • Why a special language?

    • Leave out language complexity

    • Add language features that are specific to agent-based modeling

  • Why an integrated environment?

    • Reduce complexity of the software development process


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NetLogo facts

  • Cross-platform (written in Java)

  • Free download; no restrictions on use

  • 147 complete, documented sample models(and 83 user community models)

  • Under development since 1999

    • Very active development:usually 2 or 3 releases per year

  • Large and active user community


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The NetLogo language

  • Logo core

  • Adds agents and concurrency

  • Successor to StarLisp, CM StarLogo, MacStarLogo, and StarLogoT; redesigned for both ease and power

  • Observer, patches, turtles (and breeds)

  • Agentsets

  • 2-D spatial relationships(distance, towards, etc.)


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More NetLogo features

  • Web delivery of models as applets

  • BehaviorSpace tool for parameter sweeping

  • HubNet, for participatory simulations

    (Wilensky & Stroup, 1999)


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What’s new?


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What’s new? Graphics

  • Faster, more flexible graphics

    • Turtle sizes

    • Exact turtle positions

    • Label agents with text

    • Smooth, flicker-free animation


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Graphics: Before


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Graphics: Before & after


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Graphics

credit: Owen Densmore


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Graphics


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Graphics

credit: James Steiner


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Graphics


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What’s new? Extensibility

  • Extensions API

    • Add new commands to language by implementing them in Java

  • Controlling API

    • “Script” NetLogo from Java, such as for doing batch runs


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What’s new? Extensibility

  • All-in-one = all-or-nothing?

  • Transition to a modular architecture

  • Bridging the gap between integrated environments and libraries


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What’s coming soon?


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Work in progress

  • World topologies

  • 3-D world, 3-D graphics


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Work in progress:Procedural Modeling of Cities

  • Now in first year of three-year NSF funded project

  • Two components:

    • Land use patterns (including streets & roads)

    • Building shapes


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credit:Tom Lechner

Ben Watson

Pin Ren

Martin Felsen

Uri Wilensky

Seth Tisue


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Expected spin-offs for NetLogo

  • Large, complex, multi-leveled models

  • Speed

  • Pluggable visualization engines


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Ask me for copies

  • Tisue & Wilensky, “NetLogo: A Simple Environment for Modeling Complexity” [ICCS 2004]

  • Tisue & Wilensky, “NetLogo: Design and Implementation of a Multi-Agent Modeling Environment” [SwarmFest 2004]

  • Lechner, Watson, Felsen, Wilensky, Ren, Tisue, “Procedural Modeling of Land Use in Cities” [draft]


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Try it!

  • Explore our Models Library online

  • Download application (includes all models)

    http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/


  • Login